As the child of Depression era parents, I was taught to use every bit of the food that we bought. I was an impoverished scholarship student for the first eight years I lived on my own. I also started paying attention to environmental issues early on; in high school, I worked to bring awareness of energy and water consumption and recycling in connection with the earliest Earth Days. Having gotten into the habit of being resourceful and creative with food early on, I never got out of the habit–though many of my law school and better off friends thought I was weird or cheap.
With the recession continuing (and only likely to deepen dreadfully for my lifetime given the tenor of the debt negotiations) and thankfully growing interest in being kinder to our environment, it is becoming fashionable to be more mindful of waste of any kind. Here is a great article on how to savor more of your food and diminish your trash output (which, by the way, also lowers your carbon footprint.)